Economic Indicators

Monthly Economic Indicators

The Chamber tracks key statistics highlighting the Detroit Region’s economic well-being and offers analysis on how it will impact the business community.

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U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product

U.S. Economy Grew at 3.2% Rate in Q4 2023

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the “second” estimate. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 4.9 percent.  The increase in real GDP reflected increases in consumer spending, exports, state and local government spending, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a decrease in private inventory investment. For more information, read the full BEA report.

The GDP is measured as the total market value of the goods and services produced within a specific geography during a given time period. Gross domestic product is a key indicator of the general health of the economy and its performance, with increases indicative of economic growth.

Chamber Perspective

Chamber Perspective Economic Indicators

The economy grew at a much more rapid pace than expected in the final three months of 2023. The U.S. Real GDP increased at a 3.2% annualized rate in the fourth quarter amid strong consumer and government spending. The final advanced estimate report caps a year of strong economic performance. Unemployment remained low, inflation cooled, and a predicted recession was avoided. Going into the new year, consumer sentiment soared to the highest level since December 2021 and consumers are more optimistic about the state of the economy than they’ve been in more than two years.  

 

 

 


Consumer Sentiment

Increased 0.6 index points to 79.6 in February 2024.

Consumer Sentiment

Michigan Labor Force Participation Rate

Increased for the 11th consecutive month to 62.2% in December 2023

Michigan Labor Force Participation Rate

Consumer Price Index

Increased 3.1% annually in January 2024

Consumer Price Index

Michigan and US Indicators

Monthly Unemployment Rate

Michigan’s Unemployment Rate Remains Unchanged in December

Michigan’s December 2023 monthly unemployment rate remained at 4.3%, as well as the U.S. rate of 3.7%. The Detroit MSA’s unemployment rate was also unchanged and remained at 4.1% in December 2023.


 

U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product

U.S. Economy Grew at 3.2% Rate in Q4 2023

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to the “second” estimate. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 4.9 percent.  The increase in real GDP reflected increases in consumer spending, exports, state and local government spending, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a decrease in private inventory investment. For more information, read the full BEA report.

The GDP is measured as the total market value of the goods and services produced within a specific geography during a given time period. Gross domestic product is a key indicator of the general health of the economy and its performance, with increases indicative of economic growth.

Consumer Price Index

Inflation increased 3.1% over the last 12 months for all items. 

U.S. consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, in January, increased 0.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, and rose 3.1 percent over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.4 percent in January; up 3.9 percent over the year. Read the full report. 

 

Payroll Jobs

Detroit Region’s Jobs Increased in December 2023

The Detroit MSA’s monthly payroll jobs increased by 2,900 to 2,011,900  in December 2023. Payroll jobs are still below 37,700 compared to December 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

Labor Force Participation Rate

Michigan’s Labor Force Participation Rate Reached a 14-Year High

Michigan’s labor force participation (LFPR) rate registered at 62.2% in December 2023, increasing for the 11th consecutive month. However, Michigan’s LFPR  continues to sit at 0.3 percentage points below the national rate of 62.5 in December 2023.

New Business Applications

Michigan New Business Applications Had Second Strongest Year On Record

In 2023, new business applications totaled 147,493, a 8% increasing over 2022. New business applications continue to be well above pre-pandemic levels indicating strong entrepreneurial activity. Michigan business applications in 2023 were 56% higher compared to 2019 total applications.

Consumer Sentiment

February Consumer Sentiment Solidifies Large Gains from the Past Two Months 

According to the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers, consumer sentiment increased 0.6 index points to 79.6 in February 2024. According to Surveys of Consumers director, Joanne Hsu, sentiment lost no ground this month suggesting that consumers continue to feel more assured about the economy, confirming the considerable improvements in December and January across various aspects of the economy. Consumers continued to express confidence that the slowdown in inflation and strength in labor markets would continue. Read the full report. 

The Consumer Sentiment Index is a statistical measurement that provides an economic indicator of consumers’ opinion and optimism of the state of the economy. Consumer views over their personal finances haven’t changed much from April, with stable income expectations supporting consumer spending for the time being. 

U.S. Manufacturing PMI®

PMI® contracted in January for the 15th consecutive month

The Manufacturing PMI® registered at 49.1% in January, up 2 percentage points compared to December’s reading of 47.1%, according to the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®).

ISM® states a reading above 50% shows that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding; below 50% indicates that it is generally contracting. The index is based on a monthly survey of supply chain managers and measures general direction of economic trends in manufacturing and other sectors.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport Total Passengers

Passenger Traffic Increases at DTW Year-over-Year

Detroit Metropolitan Airport experienced a 11.6% increase in total passengers in 2023 compared to 2022. Over 31 million passengers traveled through DTW compared to 28 million in 2022. While traffic has increased year-over-year, airport traffic is still down 15% compared to 2019 levels.

Automotive Economic Indicators

U.S. Automotive Production

U.S. Auto Production Increased in December 2023

In December 2023, U.S. auto production increased to 144,400 units—an increase of 2% from the previous month and a 7% increase year-over-year.

Michigan Vehicle Production

Michigan Vehicle Production Down from Year Ago

Michigan vehicle production totaled 164,301 units in September 2023, decreasing 15.6%  from September 2022. Michigan accounted for 18.0% of the U.S. total production this month. In September 2023, auto production increased 15.0 percent year-over-year in Michigan and up 1.7 percent nationally; truck production decreased 18.5 percent in Michigan but was down 4.2 percent nationally.

Annual U.S. Light Vehicle Sales (SAAR)

New-Vehicle Sales Slow in Growth in January

January is typically one of the lowest-volume sales months in any given year. January SAAR came in at 15.0 million, an slight decrease of 0.7 % from last year’s 15.1 million.  According to Cox Automotive, the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), or sales pace, in January is forecasted to finish near 15.8 million, down just slightly from the 15.9 million SAAR in December but up 0.7 million over last year’s pace. The SAAR has bounced between 15.0 and 16.0 million throughout 2023, and this month’s results are expected to remain within these boundaries.

 The Cox Automotive Economic and Industry Insights team anticipates weak economic growth, higher new-vehicle inventories, and an end to the seller’s market. Overall, the team expects 2024 to be the best year for car buyers since the pandemic.

Monthly U.S. Light Vehicle Sales

Vehicle Sales Slow in January 2024

Monthly U.S. vehicle sales in January totaled 1.11 million units down 25% compared to the previous month, but up 3% from year-ago levels.  January is typically one of the lowest-volume sales months in any given year.

Automotive Manufacturing Employment

Vehicle Manufacturing Employment Still Recovering From UAW Strikes

Michigan’s automotive manufacturing employment totaled 163,500 in December 2023, decreasing 3% compared to the previous year.  Michigan’s vehicle manufacturing employment decreased 6% in October 2023 due to the UAW strikes and have yet to recover to levels seen before strikes.

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